We patriots love to quote the Founding Fathers, especially when they support our theses. And Jefferson remains at the top of the heap. But there are three beliefs or practices often attributed to Jefferson that are either myths or cherry-picked partial views.
The first myth is that Jefferson was for big government. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Though Jefferson expanded U.S. territory through enactments such as the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, he knew that when it comes to expanding government, “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”
The Miller Center at our third president’s own University of Virginia put it well: